Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work benchOrganizing does not have to cost a lot of money. You can easily create storage centers or work stations out of old dressers, crates, and in my case an old lateral filing cabinet. You do not have to be artistic or worry about being too creative in your own garage. I aim for practical because in my garage things get dirty, scratched, and dropped.

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

Lateral filing cabinet, dirty, and waiting for the makeover

I have had this filing cabinet for years in the garage holding stuff. I know I bought it for a couple bucks at a garage sale many years ago to hold ‘stuff’ but I also wanted to paint it or do something creative but I never got around to it- until now. It was tucked in the corner holding stuff I rarely used so it was “out of sight, out of mind”. I think many of us have boxes, drawers, or even closets full of ‘stuff’ we will get to one day. (I know I do)

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

I love spray paint

Since my garage is a shared space of tools and projects, I knew I was not going to paint the filing cabinet anything too feminine or fancy. Practical and refined. I ran to Home Depot for Rustoleum’s Granite and Chalkboard paint and ended up with 3 light coats to cover the cabinet. I made a bad choice in not covering the piece before spraying the chalkboard paint (hence the 3rd coat of gray).

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

The first set of wheels at least help me move the cabinet around to paint it and work on it

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

The free countertop

Lesson learned: always tape off and cover areas you do NOT want oversprayed

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

Can you see the overspray? I am definitely a messy DIYer

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

Went back over and taped over chalkboard paint and sprayed last coat of gray

I also picked up 4 wheels to attach to the bottom. I took the leveler/pegs out of the bottom of the filing cabinet and thought I had scored the jackpot when I found wheels that would screw in place of the metal pegs I took out. They were a bit loose so I put on some plumbers putty thinking it would tighten them up. It did but it was not enough to keep the wheels from bending the metal holding the wheels in place (on the filing cabinet). Okay I admit- EPIC Fail so back to Home Depot to get larger wheels that I could put on with self tapping screws.

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

The pegs or levelers (there may be a technical name but I do not know it) screw out

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

I had taped off handles, do not know why, because I did paint over them the later

Then I had a top which I got from the neighbor’s garbage last year that was actually sitting on the filing cabinet for much needed work space (in all reality it was another dumping ground for stuff). Anyhow, I took off the trim and used 2 L brackets I had in a bin from God knows where and what project. I also tried to screw down the top with self tapping SPAX screws but only a handful went through the metal top. Filing cabinets are made of some very strong steel. I may have to add more L brackets if I feel the top getting loose from pushing it in and out of the garage.

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

My router had its own temporary base (again for years!) and so it got mounted on the new workbench

I just had to ‘jazz’ it up a bit and so I remember I had some small duct tape (kind of like the washi tape the crafters are using) in my craft room from sometime in the past when it was on clearance for next to nothing. I love when my impulse clearance buying pays off. I used the duct tape to make a frame around the chalkboard paint and since I had already scratched the paint on the handle to open the filing cabinet, I decided to use the tape to decorate the handle since the paint scratched to easily.

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

My rolls of clearance duct tape waiting for more projects

Do you want another confession of a fail on this project? Well here it is:

I initally made wood trim for the chalkboard rectangles but after I glued on the top one I realized that the door would not open and slide into the top so I could open the drawer. Ugh so I had to pry the trim off. Thank goodness I realized this after only a couple minutes when a little voice told me to open and close the doors to make sure they would work. Whew, I am so glad I have that little voice.

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

No fancy stencils or handwriting

Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work benchI wanted to label the drawers just in case hubby needed to use my tools. Plus if you label things you have to put them back (at least in theory). Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work benchTurn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

Since my hubby is not home this weekend I texted him a picture of the finished bench and his comment was “pretty”. When I called him he said no one will mistake your work area. I said “really” and he said “yea because your stuff looks prettier than mine”. He did admit to me he is happy that I did not paint it pink or some other bright color. I am too because bright colors show dirt and sawdust more.

I hope I have inspired you to start or finish that project that has been sitting around in your garage. For me, it is such a relief and sense of accomplishment to create and finish a project that has floated in my head for a long time. The project cost me around $35 for 3 cans of spray paint and 4 wheels which is well under $200 price tag for a rolling workbench at the store. I could have left it stationary but since I am using it for one of my routers and my scroll saw I wanted to be able to push it outside to work. Getting organized or creating does not have to cost a lot of money!

Thank you for stopping by!

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2015 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @the Garden Frog Boutique

5 thoughts on “Turn that old filing cabinet into a rolling work bench

  1. Pingback: 8 Ways to Use Old Stuff to Create Smart Storage

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